The ink has dried on your divorce decree. You’ve survived what is considered one of life’s most trying challenges. It’s finally over … so now what?

Facing your new life after divorce can be emotionally trying — because now you’re facing it alone. For divorced parents, life must go on as normal, (or as normal as you can get). You will begin learning how to keep up the hectic pace of parenthood, now with the added stress of shuttling your children between their two family homes and while working hard with your ex to be great co-parents. And you are doing it for a most noble reason: to ensure your divorce doesn’t leave negative impressions on your children.

But what about you? What about getting back on your feet, so to speak, and finding the confidence to face your new life as a single? Even if you don’t have children, this is still a difficult path to walk. Independence and solitude can be frightening. You’ve lost an important part of you — so who are you now that you aren’t part of a couple? If you don’t know the answer, how do you find it?

Change your environment.

Travel can be a great way to heal and find answers to difficult questions. It can put distance between you and your ex, especially if you’re still in contact as co-parents. Going away can revitalize you, casting a new light on your life and clarifying what you want out of it. A little fun and laughter can truly be miraculous therapy. Whether you choose to be with good friends or travel alone and make new ones, it could just be the prescription the doctor ordered.

And who better to let your hair down with than a good friend (or friends)? But remember, it’s about looking forward, not backwards. So it’s important to pick the right trip and travel with the right people. If traveling with a friend, choose to go with the one who won’t let you perform a play-by-play rehash of the divorce — instead, travel with that special person who knows how to get out and have fun, meet new people, and can help you leave the stress at home.

Restart and refresh.

This is definitely not the time to obsess about the ex. It’s time to leave those painful memories behind. No electronics, no self-inflicted pity parties, no midnight phone calls, no crying over photos, and absolutely no trolling his or her Facebook page to see what they are up to. This is about you and moving beyond the pain, not keeping it fresh and debilitating. Stick to this basic rule so you can benefit from your planned escape as a journey to heal and move forward. Above all else, don’t let the ghost of your ex crash your party and ruin it.

It is also a good idea to avoid visiting places or events that prompt memories of your coupledom to come back to life. There may be a day you can face them without dredging up emotions, but right after the divorce may not be the optimal time to do that. There are limitless places you can choose to make your own memories, just leave out those that remind you of the ex for now.

And you might want to avoid honeymoon hotspots, as well. Being surrounded by newlyweds as a constant reminder of what you’ve lost may prove more destructive than whatever Shangri-La you’ve chosen to visit. So, shop wisely.

Create new memories.

Taking a trip may initially be all about discovering the new, authentic you after divorce, but you might also be pleasantly surprised with the healing results. In fact, your one-time vacation may become a new ritual that’s yours and yours alone. What you once believed to be a single self-indulgence can turn into a yearly outing for reflection and rejuvenation— something we can all use on a regular basis.

After divorce, you may discover certain times of the year — especially holidays — bring back painful memories and turbulent emotions. This can be especially hard when coping with the absence of children as you alternate visitation with your ex-spouse. Why not establish a new way to celebrate such events and make your own special rituals by traveling during those difficult times? Often, healing is about gaining perspective and choosing to create new memories rather than clinging to the old, painful ones.

Traveling solo.

Are you hesitant to consider traveling solo? It can actually be an ideal time for self-reflection, build confidence in yourself, and broaden your abilities by facing something new and challenging. Ready to travel the world? In an article by James Stafford for EscapeHere, “10 Best Destinations to Travel After a Divorce,” Stafford lists those destinations with beautiful images to inspire and start you imagining the possibilities. Is there a special destination you secretly covet that’s not on his list? Why not consider it as your destination?

Thinking about a solo trip but uncertain where to travel that’s safe? Everett Potter, in an article for Travel + Leisure, “Best Countries for Solo Travelers,” explores the top two concerns solo travelers have, the first being safety. “The second concern is a bit less tangible but just as critical: is the country you’ve chosen a happy place? Is it a country where you’ll be made to feel welcome, a nation where you can easily interact with the locals, where conversation flows easily even if you’re struggling with a new language? For truly rewarding solo travel, it’s crucial that you can connect with the culture and not feel like an outsider.”

(Click on the slide show at the top of the article to explore the top twenty countries for solo travel, starting in New Zealand. Looking, planning, imagining, can be as exciting as the trip itself. Let the anticipation [and healing] begin here.)

Barb Brown, a Canadian Journeywoman, shares excerpts from her travel diary to inspire others to travel solo. Brown talks candidly about the end of her twenty-eight-year marriage. “I moved to the demanding rhythm of my family. I knew no other music and no other dance steps. Then suddenly there was silence. I was alone.”

In a later entry, Brown says of her first solo, 35-day journey in Europe, “There were good days. There were bad days. I experienced highs and I cried alone. I was single again after so many years. The music had not stopped. The melody was simply changing. This, I began to understand, was only the beginning.”

Think outside the box.

Travel can also be an opportunity to challenge yourself. Try doing something you’ve never done before. Be adventurous. Yearn to learn? Do something to satisfy your craving. Need to let out aggression? Book a trip that helps do just that, whether it’s skiing, scuba diving, surfing, hiking, or sailing — the list of possibilities is endless. If you prefer to find life’s balance by getting pampered, there are countless spa packages to help you do just that.

Perhaps you want to benefit others by finding a vacation setting that donates a portion of the cost to a good cause. Or, better yet, spend your time working to benefit others in need. Nothing takes your mind off your own problems quicker than helping those who are less fortunate than ourselves. After all, this journey is all about finding new perspective.

Or what about a cruise? On this kind of a trip, you’ll find blue skies, open seas, and a ship filled with diverse opportunities for the newly divorced — whether you want massages and quiet time for self-reflection and soul searching, or you’re ready to mingle with others and have fun till the sun comes up. Zen or zany, there’s usually something tailored to your healing needs. And if you’ve already progressed to the point of wanting to meet others of the single variety, there are singles cruises where all the details are arranged. With one exception: picking Mr. or Ms. Right is up to you.

Experiential purchases make us happy.

Studies have shown that traveling makes us happy and improves our overall health and well-being, more so than when we spend our money on tangible things. In fact, almost half of those recently surveyed considered travel more a necessity than a luxury. The benefits of travel are widespread; from improving mood and outlook to lowering stress levels and offering mental stimulation.

Jessica Mattern explores the connection of travel to career, especially out-of-country, in her article for Business Insider, “Here’s how traveling around the world can lead to greater career success.” Mattern says, “Travelling pushes you outside of your comfort zones. You’re forced to interact with new and different people. And, international adventures makes you see a new way of living.”

With your life now firmly in your own capable hands, you have the opportunity to stretch your boundaries and see beyond your pain and disillusionment after a marital split. Travel may be one way to heal your emotional scars and see your future through new eyes. This healthier, happier vision offers a fresh start after divorce.

When it comes to life after divorce, we agree with Ms. Brown …— the music hasn’t stopped, the melody has merely changed.